Croydon Scrutiny to review choice of Fairfield Hall Operator

Croydon Council’s Scrutiny & Oversight Committee is meeting on Wednesday 26 April at 6.30pm at the Town Hall to review the Leader’s decision to choose a BH Live as preferred bidder for the future management of Fairfield Halls.

 Agenda and papers including the reasons for referral and the hoped for outcome can be seen at:

https://secure.croydon.gov.uk/akscroydon/users/public/admin/kabmenu.pl?cmte=SOC

The referral stresses the lack of openness and transparency preventing Opposition Councillors and members of the public from asking questions.  The hoped for outcome is a period of public engagement.

Editorial Comment

Any social enterprise worth its salt will want to have such public engagement. Lets hope BH Live tells the Committee that it would like to see it happen. Otherwise it will be seen as just another organisation dumping itself into Croydon.

If you want to put your views of this direct to BH Live you can email them at

enquiries@bhlive.org.uk

For background see:

https://seancreighton1947.wordpress.com/2017/04/13/council-leader-chooses-bidder-to-manage-fairfield-halls

https://seancreighton1947.wordpress.com/2017/04/22/general-election-and-other-croydon-news-at-22-april

Andy Hylton of the Save Our Fairfield campaign writes:

We are pleased that a social enterprise company has been chosen to operate Fairfield Halls rather than a purely commercial organisation. The council’s scrutiny committee will meet next Wednesday to make a decision on whether to award BHLive the contract. Hopefully they will be able to fully engage with community groups to enable those which have lost a performance space for two years to return in 2018 – and for a reasonable cost.

The interim provision of arts in Croydon has not been overwhelming, and I know from speaking to schools and groups that there has been a huge hole left by the closure of the Fairfield last July.

Our main concern is that the chosen operator is heavily based around corporate hospitality and events, more so than Fairfield already was, which may affect it’s offer and hinder the programming of good quality productions, whilst also fitting in community users around the hospitality side of things. If appointed, we hope to engage with BH Live and to work with Croydon Council, who we trust will honour their obligation to finish the venue on time and to carry out the refurbishment in the right way.

We have always supported the investment in the arts in Croydon, that have been sadly lacking through the previous years of Croydon Council neglect. It’s important now that a new operator is able to get involved in the design process and construction as soon as possible to avoid problems later for the operational staff.

As one of the ex-members of staff affected by redundancy, I am extremely passionate about the future of the Fairfield Halls and care that the building is treated in the right way. I hope the ex-staff may be offered the opportunity to work at the Fairfield again, bringing their experience and expertise to reconnect with the community once again.

We will continue to hold the Council to task and ensure this happens on time, as promised. Once we have an operator appointed, we are another step closer to having our Fairfield Halls back in operation again, after construction is complete.

 

 

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About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly, and am a member of the latter's Environment Forum. I am a member of the 5 Norbury Residents Associations Joint Planning Committee, and a Governor of Norbury Manor Primary School. I write for Croydon Citizen at http://thecroydoncitizen.com. I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and advise the North East People's History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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